Diocese of Portsmouth

Anna Chaplaincy

Anna Chaplaincy – a ministry of the Christian charity BRF – has been established specifically to provide care for older people, especially those living in care homes and sheltered accommodation, and to their families and the staff that look after them. Anna Chaplains also promote the spiritual welfare of older people in the wider community, particularly those facing challenges living independently.

The vision for Anna Chaplaincy in our diocese

Bishop Jonathan made care for older people one of his two main priorities, in his presidential address at the April 2022 meeting of our Diocesan Synod, aiming to create a network of Anna Chaplains across the diocese. The first Anna Chaplain in our diocese was licensed on the Isle of Wight in 2021, and the second in April 2022 on the mainland.

The plan is to have an Anna Chaplain in every parish, benefice and cluster in our diocese. They are named after Anna, the widow and faithful older person who – together with Simeon – recognised the infant Jesus as the Messiah in the temple at Jerusalem.

The idea of Anna Chaplaincy was pioneered by former Meridian TV presenter Debbie Thrower and the concept was taken up by the Christian charity BRF. There are now dozens of Anna Chaplains across the UK.

As well as offering spiritual care to older people in care homes and the wider community, Anna Chaplains also have a role in helping the elderly to reflect on their spiritual journeys, to listen to the wisdom they have accumulated, and to advocate on their behalf in churches and local communities. Watch this video to find out more:

Could you be an Anna Chaplain?

We're now looking to recruit a network of Anna Chaplains across our diocese. Could you be a person who ministers to the elderly in your local community? Are you a church leader who would like to recruit an Anna Chaplain to your parish, benefice or cluster? If so, you can download some details of the process that is involved, the training that is given, and an application form from here:

If you feel called to Anna Chaplaincy, and if your PCC approves your application, you can then apply for a role. Full training will be given in Autumn 2022, and ultimately you may be commissioned to work in this crucial area. Download the form above to find out more.

Frequently Asked Questions

During the information sessions and other meetings the Anna Chaplaincy Strategy Group has been asked a number of questions. To support parishes and those intending to apply to become an Anna Chaplain we have created this series of FAQs.

Information sessions

To help us all to understand what Anna Chaplaincy is and how someone might become an Anna Chaplain, information sessions are occasionally held. They are primarily for church leaders, but anyone can attend and they are free of charge. Details about them can be found below: